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Saturday Lunch in Miami/Miami Beach, Dining Solo

CFByrne Jan 25, 2012 06:18 AM

I'm heading down to the Miami Beach Convention Center this Saturday afternoon, probably be finished around noon or 1.

Afterwards I was thinking might be nice for this Palm Beach County kid to check out some of the hot spots I hear about so often. I'm willing to drive "out of the way".

Type of food not critical, I'd just like to sample some of the great stuff happening these days. That could also mean I'd be looking at several small plates/apps rather then one entree.

I'll be solo, so something casual-ish and perhaps with a counter/bar might be good. But obviously, they have to be open for lunch on Saturday.

Maybe Pubbelly, MGFD, Sugarcane, or Yardbird?

  1. mattstolz Jan 25, 2012 06:46 AM

    of the four you listed, ive only gotten to go to yardbird so far, but it definitely gets my stamp of approval! their brunch menu on the weekends is delicious! the chicken biscuits are crazy good

    1 Reply
    1. re: mattstolz
      b
      BigBonesBradley Jan 25, 2012 08:09 AM

      I second Yardbird. I don't think MGFD is open for brunch/lunch on Saturday. Yardbird is best food (in my opinion) and easiet to get to from the MB Convention Center. It is a nice, easy walk.

    2. Frodnesor Jan 25, 2012 09:27 AM

      Pubbelly doesn't do lunch service and MGFD doesn't do lunch on Saturday. Either Sugarcane or Yardbird are good calls.

      I had sort of mixed feelings about the food at Yardbird - thought it was good but could be better. But it is a good menu for trying a few things while sitting at the bar (I'd recommend the "Southern Edamame," the Melons & Cheese, and the Chicken Biscuits). It is also a nice walk from the MBCC.

      I've always had pretty good experiences at Sugarcane but haven't been in a while. Also a good place to eat the bar.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor
        t
        tpigeon Jan 25, 2012 09:40 AM

        The bignets are the best thing going at Yardbird. Yardbird is the most convenient (less than 1/2 mile). Tudor house and the Dutch are good choices as well and are walkable (3/4 mile walk). I actually prefer the fried chicken at the Dutch over Yardbird. Yardbird wins bignets but Dutch has better pies.

        1. re: tpigeon
          b
          BigBonesBradley Jan 25, 2012 10:51 AM

          I think the food is much better @ the Dutch than @ Tudor House and that Tudor House would be dead for lunch.

          A couple of other nice suggestions where the setting, views and experience would outweigh the good, but not great food would be: Blue Door at the Delano outdoor seating and the restaurant at the Ritz (the one that is furthest east and is on the same level as the boardwalk/paverwalk). The Ritz restaurant has an incredible view of the beach, ocean and boardwalk. You can get out of there for less than $25 for lunch if you order somewhat carefully and you get a nice, complementary starter of hummus, tapanade and roasted nuts (or something like that). Both are less than 1/2 mile from the convention center.

          1. re: BigBonesBradley
            lax2mia Jan 25, 2012 12:03 PM

            Blue Door is no more, it's now an Italian place called Bianca which is relatively untested. Even though I think Sugarcane is great, it'd probably be best to stick somewhere on the beach. Haven't been to Yardbird for brunch but it's convenient and probably busy. Had lunch at The Dutch last Saturday and it was a great, mellow lunch, albeit quiet (inside was completely empty as everyone chose outside to dine). As an aside I wasn't a fan of the Dutch's fried chicken - the chicken itself was tasty from the buttermilk marinade but I found the breading to be way to thick. The biscuits and slaw that accompanied it were phenomenal, as was the pie for dessert.

      2. t
        tpigeon Jan 25, 2012 03:10 PM

        Also don't forget shake shack.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tpigeon
          CFByrne Jan 25, 2012 05:04 PM

          Actually I hit the Shack when I was in the area last year this same weekend for the same event. Plus I go to NYC often enough that I'd rather try something Miami-centric. But thanks for the reminder anyway.

          The Dutch looks interesting. Especially because I'm not a big brunch person, I'd much rather have lunch. And it looks like some or most of the other suggestions do brunch not lunch on Saturday, even in the early afternoon. Whereas it looks like The Dutch has their normal lunch menu avail.

          Thanks to all for the good ideas so far. I'll report back.

          1. re: CFByrne
            m
            mla19 Jan 24, 2013 10:43 AM

            Just so you know, the Dutch is also an NYC import. Just thought I'd share to the extent you're still tossed between it and Yardbird.

            *Oops, just noticed this was an old post but looks like the info could still be helpful since you're headed back to Miami.

        2. CFByrne Jan 27, 2012 03:56 AM

          Well, if I can't do MGFD...

          How about Harry's Pizzeria?

          http://harryspizzeria.tumblr.com/

          (BTW does anyone else see their website navigation disappear instantly? I'm on IE9).

          7 Replies
          1. re: CFByrne
            Frodnesor Jan 27, 2012 04:26 AM

            I've enjoyed Harry's but the comments on my blog would suggest that opinions are divided (and strong, as they always seem to be with pizza). It's not a traditional pizza of any type, the crust is rather thin and crispy, but the toppings (there are about 10 different variations) are the same kind of fresh, local, in-house stuff that you get at MGFD and I really enjoy them. My favorites are probably the MGFD Bacon (with bacon, potatoes, onions, gruyere, no red sauce) and the Pesto with house-made ricotta and fresh tomatoes.

            It is a short menu and there's really nothing to get as an "entrée" other than pizza, so be sure you're in the mood for pizza.

            1. re: Frodnesor
              CFByrne Jan 27, 2012 04:38 AM

              I'm a thin crust guy so that sounds good.

              Something interesting with pork belly or I guess the closest thing (bacon) - and/or other innovative ingredients sounds just fine.

              1. re: CFByrne
                Blind Mind Jan 27, 2012 08:14 AM

                I'm also a fan of Harry's pizza and, if youre in the mood for pizza, that would be a good call. The Dutch is also a great call, even better if they have a lobstah roll back on the menu (I think they replaced with a rock shrimp roll or something but not sure).

                BTW, was up your way yesterday and went to Linda Beans again for a lobstah roll. Best lobstah roll I've had outside of New England, hands down. One thing I noticed that was kinda odd was that they used a wheat bun this time. I'm guessing maybe they ran out of the white ones because I was there a month ago and had the same thing on the regular white split-top bun.

                1. re: Blind Mind
                  t
                  tpigeon Jan 27, 2012 10:28 AM

                  The shrimp po boy which I think you are referring to at the Dutch is overpriced but oh so good.

                  1. re: tpigeon
                    Blind Mind Jan 27, 2012 12:24 PM

                    I really have no idea what I'm referring to since I haven't had it. But, I did have the overpriced but oh so good lobstah roll so I suppose it would make sense that they replaced it with the overpriced but oh so good shrimp po boy.

              2. re: Frodnesor
                CFByrne Jan 28, 2012 03:14 AM

                I'm a bit worried about Harry's after finding this expert review on Ye1p:

                "They do go skimpy on the toppings...=( since I'm used to dominoes pizza toppings style I can't five it 5 stars."

                But maybe I'll give it a shot anyway...

                1. re: CFByrne
                  t
                  tpigeon Jan 28, 2012 05:47 AM

                  You should call Papo Llega y Pon to see if they are open today. If they are, you should do this for lunch. Ask for a large pork sandwich with everything and load on the hot sauce (I actually borrow one of their hot sauce bottles and put a bunch on myself.

                  Once you hit the right amount of hot sauce, this sandwich is magical. It is the best pork sandwich I have had anywhere. They have an area where you can sit btw just ask them. There is always someone there who speaks half decent english.

                  You should check out burger beast's report. The only issue I had with it is he understates how good the sandwich is (the one commenter on the article agrees with me).

                  Edit: Here is the link to the article. There are now 2 comments. Neither are from me.

                  http://burgerbeast.com/2011/12/26/you...

                  If Papo is not open. Try sakaya kitchen. It is great.

                  Edit 2: If you are in the mood for sushi. Sushi deli is second only to NAOE (which is closed until February) in miami but much less pricy.

            2. The Chowfather Jan 28, 2012 07:16 AM

              The Dutch- I think they pulled the lobster roll off the menu. If it's back I recommend it.
              Tudor House- pork belly Cuban sandwich is great.
              If you want to be a little more aggressive (for 1) I would get the dim sum platter at Hakkasan.
              You could also hit Yakko-San on your way home.

              1. CFByrne Jan 29, 2012 07:42 AM

                I had a very enjoyable casual lunch at Harry's. At 1PM it was busy but not packed. I sat at the counter and enjoyed excellent service throughout from "Karina". She said she was just there 3 weeks, but she had everything down cold and left a good impression.

                I had the Rock Shrimp Pizza with grilled lemon, manchego, scallion, and cilantro. Excellent, crispy crust (but NOT as charred as the photo attached seems to indicate). The little flavor bursts from spots where the lemon had been drizzled were a real treat. Shrimp were tasty and cooked perfectly, no mean feat in itself.

                I jealously oogled adjecent diners who had ordered other pizzas with all sorts of terrific toppings/ingredients, so I'm looking fwd to going back - ideally with multiple people for sharing!

                Nice finish with the tasty dessert of Zeppole w honey-whipped ricotta.

                Was this the world's greatest pizza? I have no idea. Probably not. But it was very very good, and the variety of the toppings and the overal experience would lead me to return in a heartbeat.

                Thanks to all for your reco's, looking fwd to checking out more in Miami...

                1 Reply
                1. re: CFByrne
                  CFByrne Jan 29, 2012 07:47 AM

                  Rock Shrimp Pizza with grilled lemon, manchego, scallion, and cilantro.

                  Harry's Pizzeria, Saturday January 28 2012.

                  Photo attached...

                   
                   
                   
                   
                2. CFByrne Jan 20, 2013 08:15 AM

                  I’ll be repeating this same routine from last year, this coming Saturday:

                  Saturday lunch, solo dining, near Convention Center, or a reasonably easy drive (ideally en route to I-95N). Looking for some great tastes.

                  Last year’s recos (summarized from above) were:

                  Sugarcane
                  Yardbird ("Southern Edamame", Melons & Cheese, Chix biscuits, bignets)
                  Tudor House (pork belly Cuban sandwich)
                  The Dutch (Lobster Roll, fried chix (or not)), shrimp po boy)
                  Papo Llega y Pon (Pork sandwich)
                  Sakaya Kitchen

                  Not open for lunch on Saturday: Pubbelly, MGFD

                  I should add that ideally (but not a requirement), I would be eating a lot of carbs (pasta, rice, etc). I’m not especially interested in sushi for this meal.

                  Also I prefer lunch over brunch but realize many will be offering brunch menus.

                  For example, I see Yardbird is serving brunch Saturday 10-2. Hmmm Shrimp N Grits could be ideal:

                  http://runchickenrun.com/assets/files...

                  Any additional thoughts / updates?

                  TIA.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: CFByrne
                    s
                    southocean Jan 20, 2013 10:15 AM

                    Jimmy'z Kitchen, in the Wynwood area (36th street exit off I-195, to Miami Avenue, to 2700 block). Go for the mofongo, smashed and seasoned/spiced plantains with the protein of your choice -- I like the shrimp with creole sauce.

                    While not on the Beach, this is an easy-off-easy-on destination enroute to I-95.

                    http://www.jimmyzkitchen.com/location...

                    1. re: southocean
                      t
                      tpigeon Jan 20, 2013 10:58 AM

                      The original Jimmy'z is in fact on alton road in miami beach but it is very different than the one in wynwood though there is overlap on some dishes.

                    2. re: CFByrne
                      t
                      tpigeon Jan 20, 2013 10:56 AM

                      I think you should really consider florida cookery. There are some killer dishes there (get the shrimp no matter what and order extra bread -- this is one of the best dishes in all of miami) and their pecan bread pudding is amazing and full of carbs (though probably not the kind you are looking for).

                      The lobster roll is back at the dutch. I was unimpressed with their chicken wings and gazpacho. Stick to the lobster roll, burger and most definitely the banana creme pie.

                      You might also want to try Khong River House. I have not been blown away yet but it is good, honest food (it is fairly new). Khong is very different from yardbird but I would say they are about as good as each other.

                      1. re: tpigeon
                        CFByrne Jan 20, 2013 11:13 AM

                        Florida Cookery looks almost perfect. I really regretted never making it to Red Light, as I am a big lover of all things seafood / spice / "cajun creole" / related.

                        So this would be my chance to check out Chef Kris and some of those delights I see on the menu.

                        http://www.florida-cookery.com/menus/...

                        Love Conch Chowder so I'd have to start with that. Maybe also a side of the conch fritters, and the Kris’s Biscayne Blvd. Shrimp.

                        I will gladly imbibe in almost any type of carbs including pecan bread pudding!

                        Jimmyz also looks good - but I may have to check out FC first, this is so right up my alley.

                        1. re: CFByrne
                          t
                          tpigeon Jan 20, 2013 11:29 AM

                          Conch chowder is excellent. Good choice. I would do Florida Cookery anytime over Jimmy'z. They are not in the same class.

                          1. re: tpigeon
                            CFByrne Jan 26, 2013 07:20 AM

                            Ended up going down to MIA on Friday, and ended up at FC - see write up in separate thread.

                            Thanks all for recos.

                            1. re: CFByrne
                              erica Jan 26, 2013 10:32 AM

                              When you do finally get to Yardbird, you must order their short rib sandwich..right up there in the Sandwich Pantheon.

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